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A visual feast to dive for

There is going to be a silver rush in the Cayman Islands for the next few months, as thousands of silversides gather there as part of a seasonal migration.

Silverside is a generic term for about 10 species of small, silver- coloured fish.

Every summer, when the coastal waters of the Caribbean warm up, swarms of these fish cram into the Grand Cayman's many reef caves and tunnels.

For divers and underwater photographers, the occasion is a visual feast unlike any other.

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But, for bigger fish like the tarpon and grouper, the arrival of the silversides is like an invitation to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

It is for protection from such predators that the silversides stick together in large groups and move in unison. They constantly shift directions to confuse and escape the bigger fish, thus creating what many have described as an endless, hypnotic dance under water.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2017, with the headline 'A visual feast to dive for'. Print Edition | Subscribe